Georgia Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment for Client in $20 Million Murder Case

July 8, 2020 – Press Release

July 8, 2020 (Atlanta, GA) – The Georgia Court of Appeals rendered a decision affirming the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Hawkins Parnell & Young’s client, a property management company, in a premises liability case involving the murder of a tenant. E. Tyron Brown represented the defendants who owned and operated the apartment complex in Macon, Georgia. Ty secured the summary judgment in the trial court and argued and prevailed on appeal in the Georgia Court of Appeals. 

The case arose when the plaintiffs’ son, Milton Stephens, Jr., was fatally shot after opening his apartment door to a person at 3 a.m. on August 18, 2014, after the person knocked on the door twice and announced his presence. After shooting Stephens, Jr., the unknown assailant ran away and has not yet been apprehended. The plaintiffs sued the defendants for $20 million, alleging negligent security caused the incident.

After discovery, Hawkins Parnell countered the claims, showing that there was no evidence any additional security measure could have prevented the shooting when Stephens, Jr. opened his door voluntarily at 3 a.m. The trial court agreed and granted the motion for summary judgment. On June 29, 2020, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision.